"NEWS April 26, 2016-the fate of the cultural associations 2 per thousand personal income tax"

Posted by on Apr 26, 2016

Thanks to the provisions of article 1, paragraph 985, 2016 stability law (Law No. 208/2015) this year you can earmark 2 per thousand of its personal income tax in favor of cultural associations. The novelty has already been discussed in the pages of this magazine and the new Institute recorded a considerable number of comments from readers, mostly affected negatively by the sheer lack of rules to follow and clarification on the training mode of the list of potential recipients of the aid.

In fact, the rule establishing a special decree had foreseen the emanation of the President of the Council of Ministers within 30 days from the date of entry into force of the law. Then, around the beginning of February the potential recipients of the standard (and not only them) should have been able, reading the content of the measure, to figure out whether they could or not fit in the new case.

In this regard, the doubts to be clarified are many: for example, the law speaks of "cultural associations", thereby excluding surely all other entities not related to those arrays (read foundations), but without outlining huge scopes of "culture". And yet one wonders if the inscription on this list should be considered as an alternative to the 5 per thousand or if, as it seems, the two contributions can be directed by the taxpayer on the same subject (respecting the requirements of both categories). Especially one wonders how to be added to the list of potential recipients who, by law, must be set up at the Presidency of the Council of Ministers.

In this latter regard, quite without rites, it is nonetheless aware of the fact that the matter is working actively on the Ministry for cultural heritage. On the website of the Ministry of culture has appeared on the news that the procedure for presentation telematics applications for entry on the list of cultural associations mentioned above has been active from the 18 March 23, 2016 at 14.00 hours of April 11, 2016.

Being now past the deadline, so we should assume that, for those not enrolled, there is nothing to be done for this year and I just have to wait for September for a possible "remission in bonis" (like what happens to the 5 per thousand). But is that really the case? I honestly have doubts, not least for the fact that the procedure would now over in total absence of implementing Decree (on the same internet site of the Ministry of culture is made known that the measure "is pending in the Court of Auditors and will be released after recording").

Not true – we think – assuming that the process advanced by the MINISTRY on its website may be "ratified" by the subsequent publication of the measure in the "Official Gazette". And all the more so considering the fact that the publication of the decree will be inevitably after the deadline for registration has already expired.

In the absence of publication the procedure outlined by administrative means should therefore be considered nonexistent. The term and the procedures for submitting applications for entry on the list of potential recipients of aid from the 2 per thousand tax to cultural associations may be established only by an act having the force of law and which has been given the appropriate advertising according to the forms provided for by Italian legislation (and what should they say all those cultural associations hypothetically, do not have the internet and therefore could not be informed of the procedure to be followed?).

We believe, therefore, that all those associations which had failed to enroll by April 11 will require the integration of lists once made known definitively the decree implementing the law of stability. Otherwise, the procedure would prove seriously detrimental to essential rights constitutionally provided.

For the record, we report anyway, that the procedure laid down by the MINISTRY of CULTURE involves identifying the legal representative of the entity which must personally apply for membership on behalf of the cultural association concerned to 2 per thousand. The procedure also requires that both Annex to question the Statute and a relationship of cultural programmes carried out over the past five years. It is not clear whether the entry on the list of potential recipients of contribution is automatic – as is apparent from the wording of the standard – or should be made subject to an assessment of merit (as would assume the request for specific documentation). For this reason – besides the fact that the "declarative" campaign with consequent choice on various "per thousand" is already now in place-the publication of the decree implementing the Law of stability, with the reopening of its terms, no longer be put off.